Monrovia — The Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Elfrieda Stewart-Tamba says working together as tax authorities is important to tackle tax evasion activity that is becoming more complex and sophisticated.
According to her, it is essential for tax authorities to work together to deter, detect and disrupt these activities.
She said, new technologies mean that now more than ever tax evasion activities can easily cross national borders and can make money disappear at the speed of light.
"The financial impact of tax evasion is vast, and the effects are enormous. The full cost of this illicit activity weighs on the ordinary people," she said.
Making remarks at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Global Forum last mile seminar, she said the issue of combating illicit flows of capital, money laundering, and other harmful tax practice is gaining political traction and she was very excited to see the OECD in Liberia assisting in the building of its auditors' capacities for the protection of domestic revenue.
"The Liberia Revenue Authority's work to combat tax crime, to tackle bribery and corruption; to promote integrity in doing business; to address illicit trade in all its forms, and to support the global development agenda in these endeavors cannot be overemphasized."
"As tax administrators, we have the cogent responsibility of addressing these threats in our country."
"Our perspective on the key current and emerging risks that countries face, and our strategies for tackling them are vital to improving the global effort against tax evasion," she added.
Mrs. Tamba believes the starting point for an effective global strategy to tackling tax crime is in the sharing of information and skills to ensure that tax administrators, i.e., auditors in all countries, have access to the latest techniques to detect and deter tax evasion effectively.
"This is why the LRA invited the OECD under the auspices of its African Initiative."
"This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to build our strength to fight tax crime that will ensure that national revenues are protected for the socio-economic good of the Government and people of Liberia."
She wants participants from the fifteen counties to use the next two days as an opportunity to focus on the key tax threats that the country faces, and harness the expertise of the OECD in supporting their efforts in how they can better their work to tackle these threats.
"I, therefore, encourage all of you to give your undivided attention to these training as they are pivotal in ensuring that we can become smarter and stronger than the criminals who undermine our societies through their tax evasion and harmful tax practices," she added.